Some men are born with a capacity that makes it comparatively easy for them to accomplish what to others would appear almost impossible. They possess an ambition that urges them forward to greater effort from year to year and they have a self-confidence not known to many of their fellows. Carl Hartwig, whose name stands at the head of this sketch, was endowed with unusual business talents and beginning empty-handed in a strange country he won a fortune. He is now living retired at Denison and is one of the highly respected citizens of Crawford county.
He was born in Hanover, Germany, December 7, 1846, a son of Frederick and Dora Hartwig, both of whom were natives of Germany. The father was a farmer and also conducted a grocery store in Hanover. He and his wife both lived to be sixty years old and were faithful members of the Lutheran church In their family were nine children, namely: Ernst, deceased; Marie, the widow of Henry Bierman, of Denison; Frederick, now living in Germany; Louise and Henry, deceased; Carl, of this review; Herman, now living at Kendall, New York; George, of Rockville, Connecticut; and Anna, widow of William Eigendrauch, of Germany.
Carl Hartwig was reared and educated in the village of Hemsen, Hanover, Germany, and after laying his books aside learned the watchmaker's trade, which later he found his health would not permit him to follow.
In 1868, being then twenty-two years of age and desirous of securing the best advantages to be found anywhere in the world, he emigrated to America and began his contest with fortune as a farm laborer in Niagara county, New York. After several years he returned to his old home to visit his mother and other members of the family, and then in 1873 once more set his face westward, coming to Crawford county, Iowa.
After renting land in Goodrich township for five years, he purchased one hundred and sixty acres, and as time passed he increased his possessions until he now owns eight hundred and eighty acres of good Crawford county land, which he has improved and made very valuable. In 1898 he removed to a beautiful home which he erected in Denison, and he has since made his residence in this city.
On the 28th of February, 1875, Mr. Hartwig was united in marriage to Miss Sophia Busche, who was born in Anderton, Hanover, Germany, December 18, 1853. She is one of a family of six children, as follows: Sophia, Louisa, Katharina, Henry, Ernst, and Marie. Six children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Hartwig, namely: Herman, Carl, Otto and Frederick, all of whom are deceased; Henry, who married Linda Knapp and is now living at home; and Lena, also living at home. Herman married Martha Schug and left one daughter, Florence.
Mr. Hartwig owes his gratifying success to an unconquerable spirit which never yielded to disappointment, and he became one of the prosperous and progressive farmers and stock-raisers of the county. He is a man who inspires respect and who possesses the good-will of all with whom he comes into contact. He and his wife are members of the German Lutheran church. Politically he gives his support to the republican party. He served as school director for a number of years and is now a member of the board of directors of the German school at Denison.
Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.